By Michael J Defosse - November 26, 2019
The National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ) was founded by a group of local stockbrokers in 1971. The exchange is different in that it never operated as an open outcry system. Instead, it always used a computer and telephone-based system of trading, which made it the first electronic stock exchange in the world.
The Nasdaq has evolved dramatically since its launch as an equities exchange. With the inclusion of several stock exchanges in the United States and Europe, Nasdaq’s old-world heritage includes the Philadelphia Stock Exchange (PHLX), which was the first exchange established in the US (1790), the Copenhagen Exchange (1808) and the Boston Exchange (1834).
In 1980, Apple (AAPL) launched its initial public offering (IPO) on the NASDAQ, marking one of the most iconic IPO’s in US history. The exchange empowered investors with the introduction of the NASDAQ 100 in 1985, which became an important growth index that includes 100 of the largest non-financial companies listed on the exchange.
Fueling the growth of the New Economy in the 1980’s, it attracted some of the biggest technology companies including Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon (AMZN) and Cisco (CSCO). In 2000, it opened MarketSite in Times Square, the global headquarters and home to the opening and closing bells of NASDAQ.
One of the most anticipated IPO’s, Google (now Alphabet), occurred on the NASDAQ in 2004. As the exchange continued to grow, it evolved into a global exchange with the acquisition of the OMX, a leading exchange operator in the Nordics.
Beyond its influence as an exchange, NASDAQ was a pioneer in the sustainability space, becoming a founding member of the United Nations Stock Exchanges initiative in 2012. Four years later, they named Adena Friedman as CEO, the first woman to lead a US exchange.
The NASDAQ market capitalization was $9.757 trillion to end 2018, which placed it as the second largest stock exchange in the world. However, it had the largest market capitalization of technology stocks. In addition to Apple (AAPL), Alphabet (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT), some of NASDAQ’s other top listed companies include Facebook (FB) and Tesla (TSLA).
The NASDAQ stock exchange is located in New York City’s Times Square. Today, there are almost 40 offices around the world and more than 4,000 company listings on their US exchange.